The Dementia Coordinator team at the Royal United Hospital in Bath is celebrating being named a finalist in the prestigious National Dementia Care Awards 2019.
The Dementia Coordinators are finalists in the Best Dementia Team category, but will have to wait until November to find out if they’ve won, when they attend a gala awards evening at Doncaster Racecourse.
The team provides a seven-day service to support the RUH in caring for patients with dementia.
They support staff, patients and their family or carer during their stay in hospital through to discharge.
The team promotes the support available at the RUH for people with dementia, work closely with local mental health services and the local community and carry out Trust-wide dementia training.
The four members of staff that make up the RUH’s team are Dee Scruton, Maggie Depledge, Astrid Siddorn and Theresa Hegarty.
Dee said: “We’re delighted to be a finalist for such a prestigious national award – we couldn’t believe it when we found out and we’re very proud to have made it this far.
“The RUH is committed to becoming an even more dementia-friendly hospital and this award nomination is recognition of the hard work taking place across the hospital to provide compassionate, patient-centred care.”
At the RUH, around 75% of their patients are over 65 and of that patient group, around 30% suffer from dementia – but may be in hospital for other treatment.
Earlier this year, the RUH launched its ground-breaking audiobooks for dementia patients initiative, which has proved so successful it is being copied throughout the country.
Patients with dementia now have the chance to listen to audiobooks, plays and TV and radio shows during their stay at the RUH.
The aim of the initiative is to keep patients stimulated and engaged, while helping to relieve some of the boredom of being in hospital.
The RUH’s Combe ward is a dedicated older persons’ unit (OPU) and many of the patients treated on the ward have some form of dementia or cognitive impairment.
Nursing stations are placed in each of the bays on the ward, so that staff can observe patients and patients can be reassured by their presence.
Brightly-coloured flooring marks out the different areas of the ward and signs have both text and pictures.
The lighting on the ward is soft and even, and changes gradually throughout the day to give patients a sense of the passing of time.
Recent improvements to the hospital’s Medical Assessment Unit have seen larger, dementia-friendly signs installed around the unit, to help patients navigate their way around.
The National Dementia Care Awards is an annual event organised by The Journal of Dementia Care, a multidisciplinary journal for all professional staff working with people with dementia, in hospitals, nursing and residential care homes, day units and the community.
The awards were created to recognise the very best people in the dementia care sector, whose exceptional work and contributions make better, person-centred care a reality.